Primary data on the study "Beauty and the busy mind"

Resource Type
  • Weigand, Rosalie (Helmut Schmidt Universität / Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg)
  • Jacobsen, Thomas (Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg)
Publication Date
  • GESIS:
    • Psychology
  • APA Classification:
    • Sensory Perception
    • Cognitive Processes
  • Abstract

    Aesthetic experiences may be distinguished from other experiences by a cognitive mode of aesthetic processing that involves a concentration of working memory resources on the aesthetic stimulus. Because the capacity of working memory is limited, a trade-off between available resources and the aesthetic experience is obvious. To investigate the extent to which the intensity of the aesthetic experience is impaired when working memory capacity is stretched, an experience sampling study was conducted. Over a two-week period, 115 students reported on their aesthetic experiences. To survey working memory capacity, participants answered questions about their current cognitive load and any tasks they were currently performing. They were also asked if they had an aesthetic experience and how much they savored it. The data were analyzed using multilevel models. Higher working memory load was associated with fewer aesthetic experiences as well as reduced enjoyment of those experiences. Overall, other activities that require working memory capacity appear to conflict with aesthetic experiences in everyday life.
Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching

Update Metadata: 2021-02-15 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2021-02-15